The Dizzying Decision Tree of Carlos Tevez

The bench-bound scoring "siren"....

John Nyen on the enigma that is Sir Carlos Tevez

The man on the keyboards pounds out the rhythms to the beat as the two brothers swap verses.

Of the two front men, one is a skinnier kid, while the other is dressed in a soccer kit. The man in the jersey looks a bit uncomfortable on the stage but the band Piola Vago has had some success over the years. They even managed to hit the charts in Argentina with their song “Lose Your Control”.

This situation is truly the oddness of Carlos Tevez. Soccer player, singer, father, and one of the best players alive, he hasn’t played professional soccer since September 2011.

In the years since the decline of Fernando Torres, the wavering form of Wayne Rooney and the aging of Didier Drogba; Carlos Tevez was among, if not, THE leading goal scorer in the Barclay’s Premier League. A devastating combination of skill, power and determination, Tevez is also gifted with the ability to play exceptionally well and still be hated by his current team.

Truly a unique characteristic.

This is a player that scored 52 goals in two years and 86 goals in four. He was Manchester City’s player of the year in 2009-10, the fans player of the year in 2009-10 and the joint top scorer in the premier league in 2010-11.

This is also a player that, through shady business deals and management, had a hand in seriously damaging West Ham United (20 million pound settlement paid to Sheffield United over 5 years and a 5.5 million pound fine) and relegating Sheffield United.

Tevez on his short London sojourn...

Yet when he returned to West Ham–playing for Manchester United–he was saluted by the Hammers fans in song and crossed his arms in front of the United kit much like the Hammers cross on the West Ham crest.


Tevez’s contract was partially owned by the now infamous Kia Joorabchian’s Media Sports Investments and the STILL infamous Kia Joorabchian’s Just Sports Inc.

Yes, that is correct. Tevez contract was owned and operated by two companies represented and founded by the same individual. Not only this but upon his “purchase” by Manchester United what United actually received was a “lease” of Tevez registration while the economic rights were still held by Tevez’s third party owners.

Of course Tevez’s involvement with MSI/JSI goes back to his days with the Brazilian club Corinthians as MSI was founded by Joorabchian in a successful drive to take over the club.

After purchasing Corinthians, MSI managed not only own the club and fund it (with a guaranteed 51% of the profits going towards the investment firm) but also owned many of the newly purchased players rights. One of these newly purchased players was Carlos Tevez, a 20-year-old Argentine wunderkind from Boca Juniors. Tevez became the first non-Brazilian player to win Player of the Year since 1976.


Meanwhile, Joorabchian used the leverage of owning the players rights (rather than the club having this ability) during sales to other teams to keep the economic rights of many players while leasing out the registration to various clubs.

At one time Joorabchian had at least four different business entities that he represented, owned or founded that profited from the trade of superstar athletes.

These weren’t just Championship players either, but people like Javier Mascherano, Carlos Tevez, Carlos Alberto and others.

The Mascherano and Tevez deal are interesting for a number of reasons, but as well because Tevez and Mascherano were both represented by Joorabchian through four different companies (MSI, JSI, Global Soccer Agencies, Mystere Services Ltd.) (By the way, MSI no longer has a partnership with Corinthians as money laundering accusations dissolved their partnership.) In 2009, Tevez’s deal with Manchester City removed (and by decision paid off) the ownership of his third party bosses, to the rumoured amount of 47 million pounds (although Joorabchian has disputed this amount saying it was much less).

Are you following?

As a matter of fact, the saga of Tevez and Mascherano spurred the Barclay’s Premier League and the Football League, in 2008, to implement Third Party Ownership rules in English Football. This states that the Premier League and Football League require a club to buy out third party ownership of players so that all players are only owned by the club. This rule recently ran into violation by QPR over Alejandro Faurlin and payments to his ownership groups. In a blog post by David Bond of the BBC, he indicates the the third party ownership swing is still in full binge, stating, “a new investment fund has just been set up by the former Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon and Ronaldo’s and Jose Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes to invest in the economic rights of players.”

Oddly enough, in the ability to finally escape the shackles and potential mismanagement of JSI and MSI, Tevez finally put himself in a position and situation in which he could not win. He was finally beholden to a club ownership that could and would freely be able to spend their finances to build their team, with or without him.

Joorabchian himself has described his vision of third party ownership as “a little bit like a loan deal between two clubs, except it is a loan deal between the club and a third party.”

Except in the case of the third party ownership there is no provision against requesting a massive pay raise from the club or floating their name out for a release of the registration. Realistically this situation is not akin to a loan between two clubs at all. After finally getting bought out from JSI and MSI by Manchester City, who would you guess is Carlos Tevez agent?

Kia Joorabchian. There again is the dual nature of Tevez, seemingly unfailingly loyal to a man that purchased him from Boca Juniors almost 10 years ago; and yet unable or unwilling to be loyal to his club for longer than a year and a half.

The thing with Tevez is that, while he seems perfectly comfortable on a soccer field, he seems perfectly uncomfortable OFF the soccer field.

There have always seemed to be persistent rumors of Tevez wanting to go back home to Argentina. To a certain extent, these rumors have been used so many times now as bargaining chips that they have acquired a “boy who cried wolf” legend to them.

Are they even true?

While it does seem unreasonable that someone would use their wife and children as bargaining tools, perhaps the issue is in the mind of the man. We, of course, cannot speculate on his relationship, his reasoning or his method for anything. The chances are that it has something to do with everything that Carlos states (relationships, money, coaches, staff, living in England, advisors), and yet it also probably has to do the most with Carlos himself.

Because Carlos does not speak for himself and his words are so often manufactured and manicured for the media, there is no Tevez the person mindset.

Once heralded for his allegiance switch....

Just one year and six months after signing a five-year contract with Manchester City (and four months after being named captain of the squad), Tevez’s agent asked City asked to renegotiate his contract. At the same time as this perceived renegotiation–or cash grab as it were–Tevez handed in a written transfer request citing family reasons and a fall out with members of the staff. City immediately stated they would not sell Tevez and that his request was ludicrous and nonsensical. Tevez later was convinced to stay and pledged his commitment to the club.

Two days after the FA cup winning game against stoke, Tevez was quoted as saying that he would desire to remain in Manchester if he could work out his family issues. However, during the summer of 2011, he told an Argentine chat show that he “would not return there, not even on vacation”. Clearly this was a man conflicted, divided and potentially very confused about what his future would hold.

After the beginning of the 2011-2012 season (in which Tevez lost the captain’s armband to Vincent Kompany), Tevez made a statement that he had a complete turnaround regarding City saying that he was happy and not moving.

And then the Bayern Munich game happened….

On the 27th of September, Carlos Tevez was called by Roberto Mancini to go on the field as a substitute in the Champions League and refused. Tevez denied Mancini’s version of the events and claimed it was a misunderstanding. It seems somewhat incredible that a player could misinterpret a simple instruction as “Go play.”

Leading up to the 27th of September (and the reason for the loss of the captaincy) rumors swirled, coalesced, evaporated and then vacated that Tevez was planning to leave City. In an interview with talkSPORT, his agent (the once again hyper infamous Kia) stated, “There were a couple of offers in for him but obviously he is an important player for City and they won’t let him go for any (old) price,” “We couldn’t quite match what City wanted.”

“But at the end of the day – as Carlos said at the end of the season – professionally, he is happy at the club. He is happy in the situation, it was more to do with his family really. He has managed to convince his wife to come over for a while at least.

“If she manages to settle in, hopefully in the next four or five months, maybe he will settle down and things will be fine … Carlos is the kind of player who adapts everywhere he goes.”

Remember that the Bayern Munich game was merely 25 short days after the aforementioned article by the BBC in which Tevez was quoted as saying “I’m happy at City and I’m not moving from there.”

Then the 27th of the September happened and thus began the pundits calls for the head of Carlos Tevez on a silver platter.

Following the game, Roberto Mancini claimed, in the press, that Tevez was finished and would never play for the club again.

Usually these would be idle threats but do remember that Manchester City’s owners had just finished spending over half a billion dollars in funds for new players.

These are not people that need to sell.

In fact, with a club as well endowed now as Man City, selling at a player’s whim or request would compromise their leverage–might as well hold on to the asset until the asking price is fair value rather than have suitors come forth who low-ball with an expectation that alleviation of a situation–rather than “a good deal”–is the motivation of City. That couldn’t be further from the truth–Financial Fair Play rules be damned.

City then suspended Tevez for two weeks during which time the club would investigate whether or not the accounts on the 27th happened. After the investigation, Tevez was placed on “Gardening Leave” in which he would be paid but instructed to stay away from the training ground. It begs the reminder here that Tevez is thought to be on anywhere from 198,000 to 286,000 pounds per week or a staggering high of $486,000. Yes, he was potentially making $486,000 a week to stay home.

The saga gets more interesting as Tevez–after being told to not come to training and then being sent to train with the youth team–decided to take a jaunt back to Argentina without telling his employer.

Not only were City paying his wages, but they were also paying for him to “telecommute” to his job, something a tad difficult as a professional soccer player.

Of course Tevez’s “team” disputes this side of the story claiming that he made numerous phone calls and texts to Roberto Mancini without receiving a reply. As a result of this little trip, Tevez was found guilty of gross misconduct and fined six weeks’ wages. All of these shenanigans have had a financial cost to Tevez, with City supposedly voiding a 6 million pound loyalty clause in his contract and fining him 1.6 million pounds over the last couple violations. The total loss to Tevez is calculated to be around 9.3 million pounds. According to Joorabchian, Tevez actually accepted the penalties and fines in order to stay in Argentina. City have stopped paying his wages, as well, with strong statements being made about Tevez’s future with City and the serious (or not so serious) bids that have been launched for him–the latest being fluttered around is a direct swap for Liverpool floor mat Andy Carroll.

Manchester City holds Tevez’s registration til 2014 at which point Carlos Tevez will be 30-years….old.

There is almost no chance that Tevez will continue to sit on the bench for three more years, and many advances have been mooted to have happened over this current winter transfer window.

Now the rub here is that FIFA regulations allow a player to terminate his contract if he does not play in ten per cent of the club’s official matches in any one season. Tevez right now is a few games short of being at 10%, but as with everything regarding Carlos there are machinations going on behind the scenes. City claims that Tevez has performed a breach of his contract, and surely Carlos claims that he should be free. This game would potentially take place closer to the summer, with city already (according to rumors) preparing their case for FIFA.

Meanwhile, Tevez does not train with his club. He has showed up in pictures on the beach, vacations with Kia, running in fields behind his house in England, and–allegedly–in YouTube videos disparaging Manchester City after they were knocked out of the Champions League.

At this point there is no possibility of knowing exactly which version of Tevez a prospective buyer is going to receive. However, his iffy fitness status has not kept huge clubs from beginning talks trying to obtain his services. Paris Saint Germian, AC Milan, Liverpool, Internazionale, and even his old stomping grounds of Boca Juniors have all been rumored, debunked, back in the running, on a plane to pick him up, off that same plane, and then uninterested again.

With the window unsticking towards shut, Tevez (through Joorabchian) has indicated that he may “stay” at Manchester City. Which is to say that will probably report to the club, be told to go home and proceed to take a trip to the Arctic to participate in a sled dog race (only to be fined at the end and request more money from the organizer).

So the Golden Boot winner from the 2010-2011 Barclay’s Premier League season frolics on a beach, somewhere in Argentina, awaiting a phone call to indicate that he will play again.

Such is the life of a soccer superstar whose desires and agent ties are murky to disengenous.

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antonio H. on 2012/01/30 at 4:30 AM

    Can’t Tevez simply retire and wait 6 months(assuming that’s the grace period) and then go back to Argentina to train with Boca and then unretire and sign a contract with them? Paul Scholes kind of did the same thing. Except he was out of contract I think. And United was his last place of duty.

    Very insightful article. I’m always hearing the other side to the Carlos Tevez debacle, never from his perspective. I bet all he really wants to do is run around on the field.


  2. Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/01/30 at 8:18 AM

    Tevez strikes me as a guy who truly loves to play and just simply wants to play. Extremely poor kid, completely unprepared to go swimming in the shark infested waters of professional soccer, whose will to win is unparalelled. It’s the scumbags and suits that have created this whole mess IMO. Reminds me alot of Tyson after Don King started “helping” him.
    My vote: him free and let us watch him return to his joy.


  3. To the above comments, I have to check but I do believe that as long as City hold his registration (even if he retired) all that would do is end his already stopped paychecks. He would still be beholden to City as he is registered through them.


    I began writing this piece in the same vein of thought, that Carlos was probably a kid who just wanted to play who had terrible agents.

    However, the more you look into it, the more you begin to realize that these deals are not just the sole actions of Kia Joorabchian or his team, but rather that Carlos himself has actually managed to screw over cash grab deals by throwing little tantrums. I began this whole research with the idea that he was probably being influenced but the more you look into it the more you can’t tell where he begins and Joorabchian ends.

    In the end it really is Carlos Tevez responsibility to show up and play, and despite how many of us feel, in regards to his playing talent, he and he alone is responsible for this mess he currently is in.

    Also, given his track record of really messing with almost every club (and certainly every English club) he has ever played for….. would you want him on your team? Knowing that in 1 year he probably is going to try to force a move somewhere else, complain about where he is living and then possibly refuse to play?


  4. Posted by SamT on 2012/01/30 at 8:39 AM

    Fascinating stuff.

    Maybe we should refer to him as The Football Player Formerly Known As Carlos Tevez (TFPFKACT). He will of course need a symbol. This one has been sitting on the shelf for a while. It might do:

    One thing that doesn’t make sense is if the 10% rule will give him an out. I assume that rule was created to allow players to be released when they are clearly not in their club’s plans. But Carlos is in his club’s plans. The problem is that his club is not in HIS plans. Wonder if the rule contemplates that distinction.


    • The 10% rule seems to be a huge sticking point for many people. If you want to have an interesting reaction go to a City forum and post that. You will have ITK’s jumping over themselves to describe exactly why it won’t apply or why it will apply.

      Certainly in the FIFA regulations regarding player minimum contracts, some of the stipulations are that:

      A: To play matches to the best of his best ability, when selected;
      B: to participate in training and match preparation according to the instructions of his superior (e.g. Head coach);
      F: To obey Club rules (including, where applicable, Club Disciplinary Regulations, duly notified to him before signing the contract)

      (those are directly copied from the FIFA website, document player contract minimum requirements)

      So considering that he is in violation of at least three of the player obligation directives from FIFA, I would think City imagine they have a good case.

      You never know with FIFA though.


      • The language on the 10% rule is

        “An established professional who has, in the course of the season,
        appeared in fewer than ten per cent of the offi cial matches in which
        his club has been involved may terminate his contract prematurely
        on the ground of sporting just cause. Due consideration shall be
        given to the player’s circumstances in the appraisal of such cases. The
        existence of a sporting just cause shall be established on a caseby-case basis. In such a case, sporting sanctions shall not be imposed,
        though compensation may be payable. A professional may only
        terminate his contract on this basis in the 15 days following the last
        offi cial match of the season of the club with which he is registered.”


  5. Deep down, I harbor the dream of buying Carlos Tevez’s furled eyebrow playing rights off EBay in a few decades’ time, just as a collectors’ item.


  6. Can’t he just play in Argentina in a wrestling mask and conceal his identity like the time Junkyard Dog was suspended from Mid-South Wrestling and came back as the masked Stagger Lee?


  7. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/01/31 at 11:09 AM

    I had to google Carlos Alberto, I was thinking it cannot possibly be the same player who probably scored the greatest ever world cup goal, and captained Brazil to glory in 70, right?


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